Old Photos

Steve Brusie
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When my grandmother passed away the family gathered to go through things, as is usual in these situations. For several days we went through the collection of over 70 years.

One particular incident was about a box of photos we had found. Of course, none of these photos had any identification which makes things interesting, to say the least. Every time we would take a break or after meals, we would spread the pics out on the kitchen table and try to identify the person, place or thing in the photo.

This went on for several days with no luck on positive identification for any of the photos. Many of the places and faces looked familiar but we weren't sure enough for a positive I.D. After several days of head scratching and guessing a friend of my grandmothers stopped by to see how we were doing. She noticed the photos spread all over the table and asked what we were doing. We explained that we had found this box and that none had been written on or identified and we were trying to figure them out. She looked at the box laying beside the table and asked where we had found the photos. We told her that we had found them in the antique buffet in the formal dining room. She reared her head back and laughed so hard she almost made herself sick. She began to explain where the pics had come from.

She and my grandmother would go to auctions and estate sales all over southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri and purchase things that caught their eye. It seems that the buffet, that my grandmother had purchased in Joplin, Missouri, had this box of photos in one of the drawers and was not discovered until later as they were cleaning it up to be placed in the house. She had always meant to return the box of photos to the auction company to see if they could find the owners but always forgot to take them with her when she went on later buying trips.

The moral of the story is to not get upset about not being able to identify persons, places or things in old photos you have found in a deceased relatives possesion. They may just not have been able to get them back to their rightful owner. Fortunately, we did get them back to the auction company and they got them back to the right family. This was some 30 odd years after the fact.
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